Ion Vein is a progressive rock band from Chicago. They’ve got two other titles in their discography, Beyond Tomorrow and Reigning Memories. Their third release is a three track digital release. It’s IV V1.0, which is kind of a cutsy title, slightly palindromic, slightly not. I would argue that, in reality, that this should be version 2.0 or above for this band as they’ve gone through several line up changes while retaining the band name Ion Vein, but let us not quibble over these things. The name itself was kind of humorous, too, at least to me. I read that they picked “ion vein” because that’s the effect they want their music to have on listeners. I’m not sure what that means. I guess it’s means they want the music to fire us up, get us charged like lightning. Or plasma. Interesting. I was also intrigued by their cool logo design.
Honestly, that’s just cool. And the name is fun to say.
The band now consists of: Chris Lotesto, guitars; Scott Featherstone, vocals; Rob Such, bass; Chuck White, drums. Having not heard any of their previous music I cannot state how well this new CD/EP fits in with their extant catalog of sound. So, I’ll just mention a few thoughts regarding this special DR that is introducing the new lineup, specifically singer Scott Featherstone. Sometimes he sounds like Dio, sometimes like Eddie Vedder, sometimes just like a standard gravelly vocalist. Many of the vocal harmonies on display are right out of a page of the liner notes for any given Spinal Tap song. In other words, it wasn’t that impressive. The lyrics he had to work with were rather standard as well. I hope any future full length production will remedy these two items.
However, while I was not impressed by the vocal showing I did enjoy Lotesto’s guitar, especially in the intro’s of each song. It sounded very articulate and reminiscent of early thrash. Chuck White’s drumming, though, is what really kept me interested in these three songs. He has a good tone on his kit, heavy and a bit flat. He’s very consistent with some nice kick drum hammering and some fast fills. It was fun to hear.
As I was listening to Ion Vein I was also reading up on some sci-fi television and movie rumors over at io9. Inevitably that throws up the name J.J. Abrams. Like his projects, the songs of Ion Vein start off promising great things, contain some decent elements of their chosen genre and in the end left me feeling that it was kind of fun, but nothing spectacular.
Head over to the Ion Vein website for information on downloading IV V1.0.